Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Flash Annual #1 (Spoiler Free)

Who Remembers Wally West?

I love annuals. Some of my favorite stories have been in the comic annuals of olden times. Well, in the last 30 years. The Elseworlds Annuals had some stories I still go back to.

In The Flash, we get a Wally West tale, and while I won't spoil, he is looking for his place in the current time and place he finds himself in. Barry Allen and Kid Flash are major players in this story, and the ending sets up the next big arc.

Joshua Williamson writes with Howard Porter and Christian Duce tackling the art. Williamson, in particular, does a nice job getting to the heart of Wally, making him as familiar and inviting  as he was when Mark Waid took him to the next level.

Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 lightning bolts.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Batman 1989

Netflix is quite possibly one of man's crowning achievements. It might not be as big of a deal as, say, the polio vaccine or mayonnaise, but it certainly has to rank higher than frostbite or American politics.

Recently Netflix has added several Bat films for your viewing pleasure. Or displeasure, as it were. I'm looking at you, Clooney.

As a 20 year old "man" in 1989, my biggest concerns centered around NBA basketball, but when I heard Batman was coming out, the not-so-hidden nerd inside me was ready to go. I wasn't alone. The film grossed hundreds of millions of dollars and was a pop-culture phenomenon.

In the cape and cowl is Michael Keaton. He is my favorite actor in the world. Bar none. Way higher than Clint Howard or that dude who played Balki. Keaton's casting was controversial in that fanboys everywhere couldn't believe that a comedian would be able to pull it off. Exhibit A: Clean and Sober. End of discussion.

His portrayal of Bruce Wayne is still the best we've seen in film. Keaton nailed it. Batman is not Bruce Wayne's alter ego, it's the other way around, and it was done exceptionally well.

Jack Nicholson played the villain (as he does so well). The Joker was truly insane, and who better than Nicholson? Heath Ledger's Joker, while brilliant, is a different kind of Joker. If you have the maturity to look beyond the ridiculous comparisons, you will see that both were completely mesmerizing.

There is a lot of praise to go around, from Burton's visionary approach, Danny Elfman's iconic score, or the unbelievable design work by the late Anton Furst. I could go on for hours.

Lucky for you I will not do that. There are a couple things in the film that could have been done differently, but hindsight is 20/20, especially for armchair quarterbacks.

On the Field of Geeks podcast, we recently did a commentary track for the film, and as much fun as it is to poke a little fun at movies, I still found myself loving the movie. Check it out at and enjoy! It's Clooney-free!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery

Hello. All-purpose nerd here. I know the title of this refers to Star Trek, but if you do not go out and buy the latest issue of Detective Comics, I am going to have to put you on "the list".

Anyhoo...Star Trek is back in the form of Discovery. It is in the non-JJ timeline, and takes place before Kirk starts to make out with every female in the alpha quadrant. I am just going to do some quick hits, and they might contain spoilers (or at least hint at them).

  • Three episodes in...
    • Episode 1, good. Looks incredible. What is the budget?? It looks better than most movies
    • Episode 2, also good. Watching Yeoh go was not cool, bro
      • Seriously with the Klingon language.
      • Captain dark
    • Episode 3, AWESOME! Very good. I'm officially on board.
      • Warp Dog was an interesting concept.
This show is on CBS' streaming service All Access. That's how you can watch it. Good or bad? Unknown at this point. My concern is that putting a show that is potentially expensive on a new platform that has a much smaller user-base than a Netflix or Hulu is a risk. If the numbers are not there, does the budget get cut? Does the show get cut? Does my hair need to be cut? All three are probabilities. Tune in. The show is very good thus far.

Check out the podcast discussing this show over at Field of Geeks! Podbean, iTunes, and a bunch of other cool ways to listen. I'm not sure if we are still on short wave radio...I will check it out.

Detective comics. Reminder. I'll be watching.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Game of Thrones

Not comics, but most of the planet watches this, so tough cookies!

Tonight is the finale of season 7. Spoilers in case you are not caught up.


Jon Snow, Danaerys, and company bring a Wight to King's Landing. Other interesting tidbit: I'm posting from my phone and it replaced King's with Kong's. That would certainly be a twist. Anyway, they go and see King Kong, and try to convince Cersei to put off the hostilities to combine forces and take on the White Walkers. AND THEIR DRAGON. Of course, none of our heroes know about that yet.

Anywhoo, I have not seen the leaked info for this episode. Tons of info exists on it, so I've been staying away from the interwebz so I don't go Drogo and pour melted gold on someone's head. I wonder if workplace productivity would increase know that is part of the performance management process.

My predictions:

*Littlefinger dies. Which Stark sister does it? Who cares, just do it.
*Arya is Arya. People are saying the other no faced girl killed her and took her place, but why would she go kill the Freys if it wasn't Arya?
*Cersei screws us over somehow...I mean, come on. Will someone die from the Snow Patrol? If anyone, my guess is Gendry.

Just a little time left. Can't wait!

Check out the Field of Geeks podcast on Podbead, Stitcher, YouTube, and iTunes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wizard World Thoughts

Hello, people of Earth.

May 19th, 20th, and 21st, Des Moines was once again lucky enough to have the Wizard World Comic Con! For you young people, Wizard was THE voice in comics in the 90’s and into the 21st century. They were there for the boom in the 90’s, and provided an inside look to your favorite artists, writers, and comic book companies. After Wizard stopped publishing their monthly magazine (and after years of grief counseling for me), they have still been putting on conventions all over the country.

This is the 3rd year in a row for our friends at Wizard, and while I was unable to attend the last two years due to work/other terrible reasons, Josh, Zac, Claire, and I from the Field of Geeks podcast were there to cover as much as we could. 

First of all, this is the largest con I have been able to take in. Back in “the day” (for me, that is the Paleolithic Era), I had been to a few smaller cons that were still quite entertaining and allowed me to meet some cool creators, including Jae Lee, Joe Staton, and Mike Grell (who can do no wrong). As it was held in the Events Center downtown, it had enough space to cover everything that was presented in an organized layout, making it easy for people to move from area to area.

Me before I had food.
Greeting us as we walked in was a huge statue of some muscular green dude with a real nasty disposition (pictured). There was a stage where multiple programs took place, from a fun 80’s cover band to some pretty hilarious fashion shows. Past that on the left side of the room were the celebrity guests and on the right, tons of awesome vendors featuring everything you would want at a convention like this. Des Moines’ own Mayhem Comics were on-hand, and it was great to see their familiar faces.

Is alcohol your thing? It was my thing on Friday, as Zac, Josh, and I enjoyed a double whiskey and coke as we arrived. It was called the Daredevil. The name was dead on, as after it, I couldn’t see and needed assistance being led around. Not true, of course, I just stumbled about, taking in the sights.

In the next room, the creators were all lined up in multiple rows, providing art and autographs for lots of fans (myself included). This room also had some sweet cars! The little known vehicle from that small independent movie franchise “Back to the Future” was there. I’ve seen many DeLorean’s in my day, but never one decked out like the movies. It was quite a sight. The Speed Racer car was there, as was my personal favorite, the Impala from the Supernatural series. My daughter got her picture taken with it, and I just drooled at the condition of the vehicle.

Are you into the celebrity/comic panels? If so, the panels never stopped. There were a bunch, ranging from comic talk, to celebrity/TV show panels…Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, etc. Victor Dandridge, a self-publishing guru, hosted approximately 732 panels (very slight exaggeration), and I was lucky enough to sit through 4 of them, which included James Marsters from Buffy and Danny Fingeroth, one of the Marvel legends!

Stan Lee was in attendance. ‘Nuff said (I totally stole that).

The event for kids were numerous and just added to the family friendly environment.

I will be adding a couple “5 Questions with…” segments to the blog over the next week. Mikey Babinski (Spider-Man) and Ant Lucia (DC Bombshells) were gracious enough to put up with my nonsense. Both of these gentlemen do phenomenal work, and it was honor chatting with them.

These cons are important for a city like Des Moines, who, until recently, was lucky to get the remaining cast members of Hee Haw, let alone stars like John Cusack, Dean Cain, and Marina Sirtis. If we are fortunate enough to see Wizard World return, you can bet I will be there covering it.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Jerry Milani of Wizard for the press pass and assisting with access to some of my favorite creators. You’re the man, Jerry!
Next up, 5 Questions with Mike Babinski. Check it out!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Wizard World Comic Con 2017

Greetings, people of Earth. Specifically, people of Des Moines and surrounding communities!

Remember Wizard magazine? I do. It’s one of three things I would bring back from the “old days”. The other two being my hair, and my ability to stay in excellent shape.

Wizard, though no longer publishing a magazine covering comics every month, is still hosting conventions, and May 19th, 20th, and 21st, we will be lucky enough to have another convention in Des Moines!

The guest list includes Charlie Sheen, Dean Cain, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby, James Marsters, and more. Star Trek: TNG fans take note! You can get photos, too! Check the site to see how! I’m still waiting for a sequel to Men at Work from Charlie Sheen. Fingers crossed.

The Con will be at the Iowa Events Center at 730 3rd Street Des Moines, Iowa. Make sure you check it out! Des Moines is not San Diego, so when we get something fun like this, it’s important to support.

A few of us from Field of Geeks will be there covering all the fun! 

See you there!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steve's "Mailbag"

When we last talked, I was taken away to Bangladesh to do things I am not allowed to talk about. No, not mind-in-the-gutter things.  Things like transferring the cold fusion formula to the highest bidder. But, again, I am not allowed to talk about that.

Let's get right into the mailbag.

This week, a fictional reader writes, "Steve, how do you read your comics? Online? Print? What's the deal, yo?"

Great question, person who does not exist! I have mixed it up in recent years. With the advent of Comixology, I have not only saved space in my home, but have undoubtedly saved my marriage in the process. There are times where I will still pick up things in print, but usually it is something like a trade paperback, or a "one-off" comic for a series I might like to try.

With Comixology, I was using an iPad mini, and that was great! If I was travelling for work, I could read comics in an airport, or in the cab on the way to a meeting. This helped because if you have had the joy of being in a cab, they take delight in telling doughy Midwesterners that they could die in a moment's notice. They do all this without actually saying a word. I'm looking at you, San Francisco cab drivers.

Anyways, I recently upgraded to a normal iPad like the rest of the world had done years before me, and reading comics on that is AWESOME. I highly recommend it to you, your friends, and whoever else.

There is an online comic service through Plume Snake Comics, at that has a slick online interface, and a bunch of great titles to choose from for a low monthly fee. It's like Netflix meets comic books. I use my iPad, laptop, and even cooler, my TV through my browser on Xbox.

If you are a serious collector for print, then congrats to you. Space in my home eludes me, so I envy those that are able to collect physical copies.

If you will excuse me, I need to go read a bunch of people talk about how movies that have not been released yet will "suck". It's good therapy, in that it reminds me how not to act. Ever.